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11. October 2016

 

AirConsole is an interesting concept, essentially it is a local-multiplayer focused game store and API where users play using their smart phones.  Essentially AirConsole provides aairconsole portal for HTML5 developed games that use their special API enabling users to connect and play local (couch) multiplayer games using their smartphone as a controller, developers in turn can make revenue via ads played on the service. 

 

The contest pays a total of $10,000 USD to the winning game, then $2,500 and $1,000 to two runners up.

 

More details from the announcement:

Prizes
  1. First Place will be awarded prize money of USD 10’000
  2. Second Place will be awarded prize money of USD 2’500
  3. Third Place will be awarded prize money of USD 1’000
Additional prices: 3 x Construct2 Business License
Rules
  • Your game uses the AirConsole API and is fully controllable by Smartphone.
  • Your game has not previously received any funding from AirConsole or participated in other AirConsole contests with the exception of the Fall 2016 Student Competition.
How to participate
  1. Create a game or port an existing one using the AirConsole API or the AirConsole Unity Plugin and the guides & information available at developers.airconsole.com/
  2. Create a profile for your game on airconsole.com/developers
  3. Upload a .zip file of your build to said profile (you can do this more than once, not just for a final build)
  4. Fill out this Submission Form (includes a direct link to your final game upload)
The deadline for Submissions is February 26th 2017, 23:59h CET.

GameDev News


30. August 2016

 

Superpowers is a HTML5 based 2D/3D game engine which just announced the release of version 2.    There wasn’t a massive shift from earlier releases, the simply changed their release numbering system, so don’t expect massive changes in this release.  I actually did a tutorial series on using Superpowers, but stopped development when the engine seemingly stopped receiving updates.  It’s nice to see that it hasn’t been abandoned.  In fact there was a release back in July that I missed completely.

 

This release is actually spread across the various components that make up Superpowers, so there are 5 different sets of release notes.

 

Superpowers (Tooling):

  • Upgraded to Electron v1.3.1
  • Build with latest version of Node.js on Travis
  • Fixed error message when settings could not be loaded
  • Fixed crash if the app exits before the main window was created
  • Fixed game system installation being skipped when dismissing the welcome dialog
  • Added support for customizing server name in settings
  • Use Electron-provided user data paths rather than our own custom logic
  • Improved Italian locale #42 (thanks @marcosecchi)
  • Added German locale #45 (thanks @Wend1go)
  • Added link to Sparklin Labs' free assets on home sidebar
  • Fixed offline mode
  • Added tray balloon on Windows when closing the app, see #37
  • IRC chat now displays user modes (operator @, voiced +) in a channel's sidebar

 

Superpowers (Core Library):

  • Updated Russian locale #142 (thanks @passazhir)
  • Added Italian locale #138, #146 (thanks @marcosecchi)
  • Build with latest Node.js on Travis again 2eeb775
  • Fixed crash when moving a folder and cleaned up some related code
  • Prevented creating a project when no system is installed, #148 (thanks @Pangoraw)
  • Added support for setting a serverName in config.json, displayed on hub & connection screen
  • Removed support for deprecated port property in config.json
  • Handle errors when downloading the registry

Superpowers (Game):

General

ArcadePhysics

  • We don't check for collisions when either of the two bodies are disabled #131 (thanks@MathieuLoutre)
  • Added bounce property #69 (thanks @gmg)

Superpowers (Love/Lua):

  • Added status pane with Save button in Lua script editor
  • Added Italian locale #8 (thanks @marcosecchi)
  • Added German locale #9 (thanks @Wend1go)

Superpowers (Web):

GameDev News


18. July 2016

 

Last year I featured PlayCanvas in the Closer Look at game engine series.  It’s a power HTML5 powered 3D game engine that was saddled with a rather confusing pricing model.  Pricing previously looked like:

pricing

Then on top of these prices there was an additional tier of pricing for “Organizations”.  It certainly wasn’t an ideal setup.  Thankfully they have streamlined from 7 different price points to 3, while increasing the resources of each tier.  The new pricing looks like:

image

 

Much better.  The free tier is mostly unchanged.  You still get 200MB, unlimited public and no private projects.  The personal tier now comes with 1GB and unlimited private projects.  The gotcha with this tier is it requires a PlayCanvas splashscreen.  Finally there is the organization tier which has no custom branding, up to 10GB in space and has additional project management options.  Speaking of those options, many are new to this release:

An organization offers you a convenient way to manage users and projects for businesses or for larger projects. With an organization you can specify multiple administrators who can add and remove users with project based permissions. Additionally, organization plans come with a convenient single invoice for your business.

GameDev News


5. May 2016

 

Construct is an HTML5 based game engine designed to create 2D games while requiring no coding.  They just released a new update, r228, which should be considered a beta.  New features in this update include:

Add - Windows Store plugin: added "Set back button visible" action. This can show/hide a 'Back' button in the caption for desktop apps (the back button cannot be hidden on mobile). Pressing it triggers the Browser object's 'On back button' like on mobile.

Add - AJAX plugin: 'On any completed', 'On any error' triggers; 'Tag' expression

Add - System 'On save failed' trigger. For example can be triggered if the user disables all local storage in their browser settings.

Change - Windows 8 plugin: renamed to "Windows Store"

Change - Cordova iOS: in WKWebView mode, can still start up if the cordova-httpd server plugin is unavailable, but note it will probably be unable to play video (since the HTTP server is necessary to work around WKWebView limitations for video playback). This should improve robustness against different build systems that may not automatically use C2's exported list of Cordova plugins.

Change - Restored audio encoders from r221 in the 32-bit build, since there seemed to be a problem with them in r227.

Change - Windows 10 apps: now no longer depends on WinJS library, which makes apps a bit smaller and more efficient

Bug Fix - User Media: now maintains aspect ratio when displaying camera feed

Bug Fix - User Media: fix support for selecting specific camera. Spec changes make this hard to support cross-browser, so now it relies on the WebRTC adapter.js library to try to improve cross-browser support.

Bug Fix - Pathfinding behavior: could sometimes find paths across diagonals when it should not have been able to

Bug Fix - Picture editor: Ctrl+X/C/V should now work with tool options (e.g. origin position)

Bug Fix - Sprite: animations did not always start playing if the initial animation was not the default

Bug Fix - Mouse is over object/is touching object did not always work correctly in OR blocks

Bug Fix - Runtime: should now correctly respond to window size changes/orientation changes while loading

 

The release can be downloaded here.

GameDev News


22. April 2016

 

Phaser, the popular HTML5 based 2D game engine, just released version 2.4.7.  This may sound extremely familiar and that’s because I just recently announced the 2.7 RC release.  Generally there is a fair bit of a time between a release candidate and a final release so I figured I would mention the release candidate.  Oops.  Guess not in this case. 

 

Anyways, Phaser 2.4.7 is one of the final releases of the Phaser 2.x series, when it will be replaced with Lazer (Phaser 3.x).  The final release for Phaser 2.x is scheduled to be 2.5, after which no new features will be added and it will be maintenance only.  For being so far along in the frameworks lifecycle, it’s actually rather shocking how large this release is:

New Features
  • Added P2.Body.thrustLeft which will move the Body to the left by the speed given (thanks James Pryor)
  • Added P2.Body.thrustRight which will move the Body to the right by the speed given (thanks James Pryor)
  • Polygon now takes an array of arrays as a new type when constructing it: [[x1, y1], [x2, y2]] (thanks @ShimShamSam #2360)
  • Text has a new property maxLines which is the maximum number of lines to be shown for wrapped text. If set to 0 (the default) there is limit. This prevents wrapped text from overflowing on a fixed layout (thanks @slashman #2410)
  • outOfCameraBoundsKill is a new boolean property that all Game Objects with the InWorld component has. If autoCull and this property are both true then the Object will be automatically killed if it leaves the camera bounds (thanks @jakewilson #2402)
  • Group.getByName searches the Group for the first instance of a child with the nameproperty matching the given argument. Should more than one child have the same name only the first instance is returned.
  • BitmapData has a new property frameData which is a Phaser.FrameData container instance. It contains a single Frame by default, matching the dimensions of the entire BitmapData, but can be populated with additional frames should you wish to create animations from dynamic BitmapData textures.
  • FrameData.destroy will nullify the local arrays used to contain Frame instances.
  • SoundManager.muteOnPause is a new boolean that allows you to control if the Sound system gets muted automatically when a Phaser game pauses, such as when it loses focus. You may need to set this to false if you wish to control the audio system from outside of your Phaser game, i.e. from DOM buttons or similar (#2382)
  • You can now pass a TilemapLayer as a Texture to a TileSprite. A limitation of this is that if you pass it to a TileSprite it will make a fill pattern from the TilemapLayer at that instant it's passed, and it won't keep track of the layer in future should it update (thanks @jdnichollsc #1989)
  • Camera has a new property: lerp. This is a Point object, that allows you to control the amount of horizontal and vertical smoothing to be applied to the camera when it tracks a Sprite. It works both with and without deadzones, and is turned off by default. Set it to low values such as 0.1 for really smooth motion tracking (thanks to @WombatTurkey for the idea of adding this)
  • Camera.shake is a new function that creates a camera shake effect. You can specify the intensity, duration and direction of the effect. You can also set if it should shake the camera out of bounds or not.
  • Camera.flash is a new function that makes the camera 'flash' over the top of your game. It works by filling the game with the solid fill color specified, and then fading it away to alpha 0 over the duration given. This is great for things like hit effects. You can listen for the Camera.onflashComplete Signal.
  • Camera.fade is a new function that makes the camera fade to the color given, over the course of the duration specified. This is great for things like transitioning from one State to another. You can listen for the Camera.onFadeComplete Signal.
  • Camera.resetFX resets any active FX, such as a fade or flash and immediately clears it. Useful for calling after a fade in order to remove the fade from the Stage.
  • Phaser.Camera.ENABLE_FX is a const that controls if the Camera FX are available or not. It's true by default, but if you set it to false before boot then it won't create the Graphics object required to process the effects.
  • The Arcade Physics Body has two new properties: left and top. These are the same as Body.x and Body.y but allow you to pass the Body to geometry level functions such as Circle.contains.
  • World.separate has been optimized to cut down on the number of calls to intersectfrom 3 calls per Game Object collision check, to 2. So if you were colliding 50 sprites it will reduce the call count from 150 to 100 per frame. It also reduces the calls made to seperateX and seperateY by the same factor.
  • Two immovable bodies would never set their overlap data, even if an overlap only check was being made. As this is useful data to have this has been changed. Two immovable bodies will still never separate from each other, but they will have their overlapX and overlapY properties calculated now.
  • P2.Body.offset is now used and applied to the Sprite position during rendering. The values given are normal pixel values, and offset the P2 Body from the center of the Sprite (thanks @Mourtz #2430)
Updates
  • TypeScript definitions fixes and updates (thanks @jamesgroat @kiswa)
  • Docs typo fixes (thanks @thiagojobson @hayesmaker @EJanuszewski)
  • Removed a console.log from the TilingSprite generator.
  • Sound.position can no longer become negative, meaning calls to AudioContextNode.start with negative position offsets will no longer throw errors (thanks @Weedshaker #2351 #2368)
  • The default state of the internal property _boundDispatch in Phaser.Signal is now false, which allows for use of boundDispatches (thanks @alvinlao #2346)
  • The Tiled parser only supports uncompressed layer data. Previously it would silently fail, now it detects if layer compression is used and displays a console warning instead (thanks @MannyC #2413)
  • The Tiled parser now removes the encoding parameter so that a subsequent process doesn't try to decode the data again (thanks @MannyC #2412)
  • Ensure a parent container is a Group before removing from its hash (thanks @rblopes #2397)
  • The Game Object Input Handler now checks to see if the Object was destroyed during the onInputDown phase, and bails out early if so (thanks @zeterain #2394)
  • The Destroy component will now call TweenManager.removeFrom, removing any active tweens from the TweenManager upon the Game Objects destructions (thanks @PokemonAshLovesMyTurkeyAndILikeYouTwo #2408)
  • Tween.update will now return false (flagging the Tween for destruction) should the Tween.target property every become falsey. This can happen if the object the Tween was tracking is destroyed, nulled or generally removed.
  • TweenData.repeatTotal is a new property that keeps track of the total number of times the Tween should repeat. If TweenData.start is called, as a result of the Tween repeatCount being > 0 then the child tween resets its total before re-starting.
  • The Debug canvas now listens for the ScaleManager.onSizeChange signal and resizes itself accordingly when running under WebGL. This means if your game size changes the Debug canvas won't be clipped off (thanks @francisberesford #1919)
  • Camera.follow now uses the Targets world property to seed the camera coordinates from, rather than its local position. This means Sprites that are members of offset Groups, or transformed display lists, should now be followed more accurately (thanks @rbozan #2106)
  • PluginManager.destroy is now called by Game.destroy.
  • Game.forceSingleUpdate is now true by default.
  • Video now uses MediaStreamTrack.stop() instead of MediaStream.stop() where possible, as the later is now deprecated in some browsers (thanks @stoneman1 #2371)
  • The Physics Manager will now throw a console warning if you try to enable a physics body using an unknown physics engine type (thanks @jakewilson #2415)
  • The Tileset class will tell you the name of the tileset image throwing the uneven size error (thanks @jakewilson #2415)
  • Emitter.start when used with a false explode parameter would cumulatively add particles to the current total. With quantity 10 the first call would emit 10 particles, the next 20, and so on. Calls to start will now reset the quantity each time. This is a behavior change from earlier versions, so if you relied on the old way please account for it in your code (thanks @BdR76 #2187)
  • You can now pass in your own Canvas element to Phaser and it will use that instead of creating one itself. To do so you must pass a Game Configuration object to Phaser when you instantiate it, and set the canvas property of the config object to be the DOM element you wish to use, i.e.: { canvas: document.getElementById('yourCanvas') }(thanks @Friksel #2311)
  • When loading Video with the asBlob argument set it now uses a 'blob' type for the XHR loader, and doesn't cast the resulting file as a Blob upon load. This fixes loading videos as blobs on Chrome for Android (thanks @JuCarr #2433)
  • When the Loader loads audio via the Audio tag, instead of Web Audio, it used to use Phaser.GAMES[_this.game.id].load as the callback handler, which would stop it from working if you had multiple Loaders set-up within Phaser. It now uses a local reference to _this instead (thanks @SBCGames #2435)
Bug Fixes
  • The mouseoutglobal event listener wasn't removed when the game was destroyed (thanks @stoneman1 #2345 #2344 #2342)
  • Fixed issue with IE crashing on this.context.close in the Sound Manager (thanks @stoneman1 #2349)
  • Phaser.World.centerX and Phaser.World.centerY only worked if the bounds had an origin of 0, 0. They now take into account the actual origin (thanks @fillmoreb #2353)
  • SoundManager.destroy now validates that context.close is a valid function before calling it (thanks @brianbunch #2355)
  • SoundManager.destroy doesn't close the context if it's being stored in PhaserGlobal (thanks @brianbunch #2356)
  • Fix typo in p2 BodyDebug.componentToHex that made most debug bodies appear reddish in color (thanks @englercj #2381)
  • Previously when a sprite was tinted and a new texture was loaded then the tint did not apply to the texture and the old tinted texture was used (thanks @CptSelewin #2383)
  • Negative lineSpacing in Text objects will no longer crop the bottom pixels off lines of text (thanks @gaelenh #2379 #2374)
  • BitmapData.copy, and by extension draw, drawFull, drawGroup, etc, would incorrectly handle drawing a tinted Sprite if it was using a frame from a texture atlas (thanks @PhaserDebugger #2405)
  • Text that used fonts which had numbers in their names wouldn't be correctly rendered unless you explicitly set the font property after creation. You can now pass font names with numbers in them as the font style object correctly (thanks @And-0 #2390)
  • Tween.update wouldn't dispatch an onLoop signal for Tweens with just one child, such as those created via Tween.to with -1 as the repeat value (thanks @ForgeableSum #2407)
  • Arcade.Body's speed property was only set when the body moved, it now updates regardless (thanks @mark-henry #2417)
  • Camera.position would return the view rectangles centerX/Y coordinates, instead of view.x/y (which is what Camera.x/y returns), so it has been updated to return view.x/y instead (thanks @kamparR #2120)
  • Passing a BitmapData to a TileSprite as a texture would fail if the BitmapData had not been previously added to the cache. It now uses the new frameData property (thanks @mzamateo @lucap86 #2380)
  • When setting a global volume for the SoundManager it would previously incorrectly calculate the volumes of AudioTag based Sound objects that were not played at volume 1. The new approach uses Sound.updateGlobalVolume which adjusts the Sound volume to be a percentage of the global volume. So if the global volume is 0.5 and the Sound volume is 0.5, the Sound will play with an actual volume of 0.25 (thanks @VitaZheltyakov #2325)
  • Sound.play when using an AudioTag would ignore the muted state of the SoundManager and play regardless. It now checks the SoundManager.mute state on play, and sets the volume accordingly (thanks @brianbunch #2139)
  • Graphics objects can now have a Physics Body directly attached to them, where-as before it would throw an error due to a lack of anchor property (thanks @NLilley #2400)
  • A Game Object with fixedToCamera = true that was then set for Input, and enabled for dragging from its center (input.enableDrag(true)) would throw an error upon being dragged (thanks @solusipse #2367)
  • P2.World.updateBoundsCollisionGroup wouldn't use the boundsCollisionGroup mask if you passed true as the argument, only if it was left undefined.
  • P2.World.updateBoundsCollisionGroup didn't set the _boundsOwnGroup private var, meaning the World.setBounds method wasn't able to restore previously set collision masks automatically (thanks @jmp909 #2183)
  • P2.World.setBounds has been re-written completely. If the World is resized it no longer removes the P2 body instances and re-creates them. Instead it checks to see which walls are required and then just moves the position of the shapes instead, or updates them, or creates or destroys them as required. This is far more efficient, especially in a game which sees a lot of world bounds changes (i.e. resizes responsively in browser)
  • BitmapText would throw an error if you passed in a number as the text property to the constructor. It worked if you used the text accessor directly because it cast the value to a string, but the constructor missed out this step (thanks @lewispollard #2429)
  • Dragging a Sprite while the camera was moving would slowly cause the Sprite position to become out of sync the further the camera moved. A Sprite being dragged now tracks the camera position during the drag update and adjusts accordingly (thanks @jeroenverfallie #1044)
Pixi Updates

Please note that Phaser uses a custom build of Pixi and always has done. The following changes have been made to our custom build, not to Pixi in general.

  • DisplayObjectContainer.getLocalBounds destroys the worldTransforms on children until the next stage.updateTransform() call. This can make a number of things break including mouse input if width, height or getLocalBounds methods are called inside of an update or preUpdate method. This is now fixed in our Pixi build (thanks @st0nerhat #2357)
  • PIXI.CanvasRenderer.resize now applies the renderSession.smoothProperty to the Canvas context when it resizes. This should help with unwanted canvas smoothing (thanks @sergey7c4 #2395 #2317)

You can read the full release notes here.

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